Posts tagged ‘National Security’
The U.S. military is alarmed that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq is using commercially available drones to drop small bombs with “pinpoint accuracy” in and around Mosul, the jihadist group’s last major stronghold in the country.
“I am aware that ISIL has used commercial-off-the-shelf UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to drop small explosive weapons,” Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, told the Washington Times. “This capability is dangerous and has propaganda value, but it will not change the fact that the enemy is being defeated in both Iraq and Syria.”
The new capability raises the specter that the Islamic State one day could attack urban areas from the air, not just on the ground. The U.S. military is alarmed by the terrorist army’s quick technological advances and is evaluating more than 20 systems to detect and destroy its drone air force. Other systems already have been rushed to the war.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon confirmed that ISIS is using small drones carrying grenade-like explosives in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The drones have caused civilian and military casualties, the Pentagon revealed. A U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive is currently fighting to push ISIS out of Mosul.
In a January 18 letter, then-U.S. Army Secretary Eric K. Fanning reportedly wrote Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a U.S. Marine veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, that the jihadi drone threat is on the rise.
“These advances present our adversaries with opportunities to quickly adjust and improve their tactics, and the Army must remain adaptive and agile to respond to the evolving threat,” declared Fanning.
He revealed that the U.S. military is testing more than 20 government and industry systems “designed to detect, identify and electronically defeat” jihadi drones.
In a propaganda video disseminated on social media Tuesday, ISIS featured aerial footage of a Chinese Skywalker X8 drone that can be purchased on Amazon targeting clusters of Iraqi soldiers, tanks, and buildings. The video captured ISIS’ ability to assemble, arm, deploy, and guide drones to locate and strike specific targets.
Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which obtained the video from an ISIS Internet channel, described the small aircraft as “the first offensive drone able to carry bombs, albeit small ones.”
Echoing the former U.S. Army secretary, the MEMRI chief predicted that ISIS will expand its use of drones.
“They have been using drones for a few years, mainly for their films, but there has been a major increase in usage,” Mr. Stalinsky said, adding that drones “are easily obtainable online, then can be modified. We have seen many drones used by ISIS that can be bought on Amazon.”
ISIS has been employing the use of commercially available drones for reconnaissance and to capture footage for propaganda videos. The jihadist group has also reportedly used drones to drop grenades. The Iraqi military has confirmed, too, that ISIS has weaponized drones.
“Daesh [ISIS] uses drones for surveillance and sometimes it attaches explosives to them and uses to target commanders or headquarters,” Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saidi of Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service told reporters in November at a military headquarters in a Mosul suburb.
Rep. Hunter told the Times that after a classified briefing on Tuesday, he is confident the U.S. military in Iraq is capable of defeating ISIS drones.
URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/01/05/report-obama-mass-transfer-gitmo-detainees-threatened-behead-bomb-americans/
President Barack Obama plans to transfer out at least 22 of the 59 detainees who remain at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by the time he leaves the White House, a move that will liberate jihadists who have threatened to behead and bomb Americans, the Daily Mail has learned.
In recent weeks, the number of detainees who are expected to be set free by the end of Obama’s tenure on January 20 has varied by news agencies from 17 to 19. Earlier this week, the White House responded to incoming President Donald Trump’s urging to stop transferring prisoners out of Guantánamo, saying it plans to liberate more detainees before Obama leaves office.
The Obama administration reportedly told Congress last month that the sitting president would reduce the population of Guantánamo, also known as Gitmo, by 19 to 40 detainees.
Now, the Daily Mail reports:
President Obama is planning to transfer at least 22 additional Guantanamo Bay detainees out of the military detention center before he leaves office later this month, DailyMail.com has learned.
The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo – who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group’s top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based U.S. detention facility for more than a decade
However, the PRB has made the decision to liberate prisoners who had already been designated too dangerous to release, which means the “forever prisoner” designation has not prevented the Obama administration from transferring out detainees.
According to the Miami Herald, the remaining 10 prisoners are still undergoing war crimes proceedings at military commissions, including six who are facing death penalty tribunals.
The Daily Mail reports:
The list of “recommended for transfer” prisoners includes a number of top al Qaeda operatives and commanders
Some of the recommended transfers have also vowed to return to jihad if they are ever released, according to reports from US military officials. They have also threatened to assassinate the U.S. president, kill American citizens, and attack other world leaders who are allied with the West.
At least four countries — including Italy, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia — are expected to take in some of the 19 prisoners who are expected to be transferred by January 20.
On Wednesday, Reuters reports that Obama will transfer four prisoners to Saudi Arabia in the next 24 hours.
The Daily Mail notes:
Fifty-nine enemy combatants in total still remain at Guantanamo, including terror “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two of the “20th hijackers” for the 9/11 attacks, and the strategists behind the USS Cole bombing of 2000.
The group includes al Qaeda henchmen from around the world who are trained in lethal military tactics – ranging from sniper assassins and rocket-propelled grenade operators, to explosives and chemical weapons experts.
According to the latest estimate by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), three out of every 10 Guantánamo detainees who have been released under both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush are suspected or confirmed to have re-engaged in terrorist activities. Some of the liberated prisoners are believed to have American blood on their hands.
The Daily Mail points out, “Some released detainees have gone back into terrorism. Four of the senior leaders in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are former Guantanamo Bay detainees that were transferred to Saudi Arabia or Sudan.”
URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/28/boko-haram-jihadists-teach-boy-soldiers-rape-women/
Islamist militants from the Boko Haram terror group are instructing their teenage recruits how to sexually assault women as part of their training, both as a means of terror and an incentive for the young militants. As part of their formation program, the Nigeria-based Jihadi leaders rape women and young girls captured during raids in front of the boys as a visual lesson in how to subdue a struggling victim during sexual assault, according to reports.
According to Ahmed, the jihadists accompany their demonstrations with specific instructions on how to carry out a rape. “They tell us to remember to hold the girl tight on both hands, pinned to the floor,” he said. “They said we shouldn’t let a woman overpower us.”
The young soldier said that before one attack, his superiors told the militants to capture as many women as they could, promising that they would be allowed to “have fun” when they returned to their base.
“At first I didn’t understand what they meant by ‘you are going to have fun’ and nobody thought to explain,” said Ahmed. This was before his training in sexual assault.
According to Ahmed, encouraging young militants to have sex with captives is a relatively new tactic, since previously, the leaders forbade teenage soldiers from doing so, saying that women belonged to men and not boys. The change in policy reportedly reflects a need to incentivize younger soldiers, especially now that a significant number of senior fighters have been killed off by the Nigerian military.
Adding insult to injury, a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) released in October documented how many girls who had survived assaults by Boko Haram, then suffered sexual violence at the hands of officials at refugee camps in northern Nigeria. In its study, HRW found that rape, sexual harassment, inducement into sexual activity by promising food, and other such violence against the victims of Boko Haram were shockingly regular occurrences among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps.
Members of the NGO interviewed 43 women and girls willing to discuss their experience of “sexual abuse, including rape, and exploitation” at the camp. Many of these accused an array of soldiers, police, and militia leaders of sexual violence.
Many of the African girls and women who eventually return home after escaping Boko Haram are stigmatized by their own communities because of the sexual violence they suffered. These women are sometimes labeled as “Boko Haram wives” or even “epidemics” and lack organized services to help them recover from their experiences and reintegrate into their communities.
By Nancy Hayes on December 27, 2016
URL of the original posting site: http://joeforamerica.com/2016/12/obama-u-s-must-give-freedoms-un/
Many Americans are very excited to know Trump’s Inauguration Day is right around the corner. We’ve had enough of Obama’s policies which have weakened America and our military and made us look weak among nations around the world. Not that Obama could care. Afterall, Obama supported Obamacare and wanted a One World government, just like Hillary.
At one of Obama’s last gatherings with other world leaders at the UN, Obama said this:
H/T I Have The Truth:
“…but we have to put our money where our mouths are. And we can only realize the promise of this institution’s founding — to replace the ravages of war with cooperation — if powerful nations like my own accept constraints,” said Obama. “Sometimes I’m criticized in my own country for professing a belief in international norms and multilateral institutions.”
WTH!? The United Nations has one goal: Globalization. The UN’s only intention is to bring about new world and economic order and support an international system of governance. The UN doesn’t exist to help the world. We’ve already seen how on many occasions how the UN has failed to protect those that really need protections. It hasn’t stopped genocide or wars.
The UN is about global control. They just want to remove guns and disarm citizens, which is unconstitutional in America. America was founded on the Constitution. In America, citizens have the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms, but the UN doesn’t want that. They want “ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT” – no borders. Hence, Obama didn’t care about how many illegals he brought in. He just wanted more. The more the merrier; it makes our country weaker.
Obama is a globalist and wanted Americans to surrender the US to the UN. He wanted America to give up our freedoms to achieve UN GOALS! Seriously!
The UN just wants America to dissolves its sovereignty to create a new world order. Obama wanted America to give up freedoms to become part of this ‘One World” government’!
Thank God! We are not heading down that path any longer! Hillary Clinton would have just continued down that same path to “One World” order and government.
One of our Founding Fathers said:
Aren’t we thankful Americans chose the path of freedom and Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton for President. Clinton would have continued America down Obama’s same path of destruction and “One World” order. Donald Trump will lead us down the path of greatness and help “Make America Great Again”.
Thank you Americans for electing Donald Trump for our next president!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/20/taliban-video-shows-kidnapped-u-s-canadian-family/
A new video from the Taliban features Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped while hiking through Afghanistan in 2012. The video also includes two young boys who are apparently their children, born during their captivity. Coleman was seven months pregnant at the time of her capture.
“We understand both sides hate us and are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems,” Coleman says in the video, as reported by Reuters. “But we can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy.”
“My children have seen their mother defiled,” she added ominously, as the children sat in Boyle’s lap. Also ominous: she referred to the boys as her “surviving children.”
“They want money, power, friends. You must give them these things before progress can be made,” she said of her captors in the Haqqani Network, a notorious hostage-taking criminal gang allied with the Taliban. Reuters explains that the “friends” she referred to are three senior Haqqani members held by the Afghan government.
“Because of their fear they are willing to kill us, willing to kill women, to kill children, to kill whomever, in order to get these policies reversed or take revenge,” Boyle said in the video.
Coleman then buttressed her husband’s remarks by pleading, “I ask if my government can do anything to change the policies of the Afghan government to stop their policy of executing men before these men start executing their prisoners.”
At another point in the video, she more explicitly states that the Haqqanis will “retaliate against our family,” “do us harm,” and “punish us” if their demands are not met.
“We have waited since 2012 for somebody to understand our problems. We can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy,” Coleman said, evidently reading from a script, as the UK Guardian notes.
The New York Times quotes Coleman appealing directly to President Obama for help before he leaves office: “Please don’t become the next Jimmy Carter. Just give the offenders something so they and you can save face, so we can leave the region permanently.”
As the Daily Mail notes, Coleman is wearing a burka in the video, with the veil pulled back to expose her face. Boyle is described as “pale and tired.” Coleman was forced to wear a burka in previous hostage videos, while her mother also donned a Muslim headscarf in a video appeal for her daughter’s release sent by the family to Taliban leaders last year.
Taliban officials confirmed the authenticity of the video, which they said was recorded several months ago. (Coleman specifically states it is December 3rd at the beginning of the tape, but that might not be accurate.) It was delivered to U.S. and Canadian authorities, as well as uploaded to YouTube for public display on Monday night after one of the Haqqani prisoners was sentenced to death.
According to the Daily Mail, the Canadian government almost had a deal for Boyle’s release in place, but he refused to leave Coleman and the children. The New York Times speculates efforts to secure the couple’s release were harmed by the U.S. drone-strike killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour in May.
“Certainly when Americans are taken captive, this becomes an immediate priority for us. We are paying extraordinarily close attention to that. We always do. I won’t get into too many details with that. But I am satisfied that we are doing everything we can at this juncture to understand who took them and try to bring them back,” said U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of Central Command, at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday.
“We are deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their young children and call for their unconditional release,” said Canadian Department of Global Affairs spokesman Michael O’Shaughnessy.
As for why a man and his pregnant wife would be backpacking through Afghanistan in 2012, the Daily Mail quotes some relatives describing them as “well-intentioned but naive adventure seekers.” They had already trekked through Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan before arriving in Afghanistan.
URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/19/russian-ambassador-turkey-shot-speech-ankara/
The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, has been shot while speaking at an art exhibit in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Hurriyet quotes the Russian embassy saying it believes “radical Islamists” were behind the attack, and notes that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is due in Moscow tomorrow for talks on the Syrian crisis with Russia and Iran.
CNN Turk is running a photo that appears to show the gunman:
Update, 11:40 EST: Russia’s TASS news agency reports the exhibit Karlov was speaking at was a photo exhibit called “Russia in the Eyes of Turks.” The perpetrator is said to have fired shots in the air and shouted “Get out!” at the crowd.
Hurriyet Daily News had a reporter on the scene who confirmed the crowd ran after the gunman fired in the air, then Karlov was shot.
Update, 11:45 EST: According to Ragip Soylu, a reporter for the generally pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah, the attacker bypassed security by showing a police ID badge, and shouted something about Aleppo and Syria before he opened fire. More specifically, he is said to have shouted, “We die in Aleppo, you die here.”
Soylu also reports Karlov was shot “four or five times.” He has posted a photo that may be of the attacker, although noting this has not been confirmed by the authorities as yet:
The unconfirmed picture of the gunman in Ankara attack who targeted the Russian Ambassador pic.twitter.com/LEkcZdws2c
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) December 19, 2016
Update, 11:55 EST: An Associated Press photographer who was in the auidence reports the gunman shouted “Allahu akbar!” before opening fire, as well as saying something in Russian, and fired at least eight shots. Karlow was several minutes into his prepared remarks before the attack began.
Update, 12:05 EST: Turkish media are reporting that Ambassador Karlov has died of his wounds.
Update, 12:15 EST: Daily Sabah’s Ragip Soylu has posted video of the gunman during the attack:
Although the identity of the shooter has not been confirmed at the time of this writing, there have been claims he really was a plainclothes policeman, and possibly even a member of the Ambassador’s security detail.
Update, 12:20 EST: Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with his Foreign Minister and the heads of Russian security services about the attack. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Russians were in contact with Turkish authorities.
Hurriyet Daily News has updated its report to quote the attacker shouting to the crowd, “I will not leave here alive, do not approach me.”
Update, 12:25 EST: Chilling video of the attack as it happened:
His cries during the assassination have been translated, according to a report at Business Insider. At first, he shouted in Arabic: “We’ve made an oath to Mohammed to die in martyrdom, [it is] revenge for Syria and Aleppo.”
Altintas then switched to Turkish and shouted, “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria… You won’t be safe. Only my dead body will leave here.”
He was described as speaking Turkish with an “educated, Istanbul accent” with “no trace of foreign accent, Arab or otherwise.”
Update, 12:55 EST: Below is a better-quality video of the assassin’s rant after shooting the ambassador. More explicit videos capturing the moment of the shooting have also been posted; one such video can be found here. (WARNING: graphic content.)
Update, 13:15 EST: The BBC quotes Turkish security sources who confirmed the assassin was a police officer, but they claimed he was off-duty when he attacked.
“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family,” said U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby, while U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power took to Twitter to “strongly condemn the savage attack.”
“I condemn in the strongest terms the heinous attack on Ambassador Karlov tonight,” said the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass.
“Shocked to hear of despicable murder of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey. My thoughts are with his family. I condemn this cowardly attack,” said British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Update, 13:20 EST: According to a report from Turkey’s Andalou Agency, Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov was born in Moscow in 1954. He graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1976, and then from the Diplomatic Academy in 1992. He has been Russia’s ambassador to Turkey since July 2013. He was married, and has a son.
Update, 13:30 EST: A reporter for Russia Today offers a different account of the jihadi’s status with the Turkish police than what we’ve been hearing until now:
RT.com also reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone after the assassination.
Another remarkable, chilling image from Ankara: Ambassador Karlov looking at a painting in the art gallery, while his killer looms out-of-focus in the background behind him.
Update, 13:45 EST: Statement from the Turkish embassy in Russia, as related by Russia’s TASS news agency: “An inhumane tragedy occurred today with our distinguished colleague Andrey Karlov. There is no person in their right mind who would not condemn this evil act. We grieve with all our hearts. We bring our deepest condolences to the people of Russia. This is our shared pain and loss.”
Some unredacted photos of the dead gunman have emerged. (WARNING: very graphic image of bloodshed at the link.)
Update, 13:50 EST: According to Middle East Monitor, Ambassador Karlov “had been part of discussions between Turkey that led to an evacuation of east Aleppo getting underway late last week.”
Social media accounts linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda are reportedly celebrating the assassination, even though neither organization has formally claimed Altintas as a member.
Update, 14:05 EST: Statement from National Security Council spokesman Ned Price at the White House on the assassination in Ankara:
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack this morning in Kayseri, Turkey, which killed more than a dozen people and wounded many more. This cowardly attack appears to have targeted off-duty Turkish soldiers who were traveling on a public transit bus that was also transporting civilians. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and loved ones, and to all the people of Turkey. As President Obama told President Erdogan in their phone call on December 15, we stand united with Turkey, our NATO Ally, in our determination to confront and defeat all forms of terrorism.”
Update, 14:30 EST: There have been some accusations in Turkey that Altintas carried out his attack at the behest of Fethullah Gulen, the exiled cleric currently living in Pennsylvania who has been accused of masterminding the July coup attempt against President Erdogan. Turkey has been pressing the United States to extradite Gulen.
Perhaps the most prominent voice to openly accuse Gulen of involvement in the Karlov assassination thus far is Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Ankara.
“Russian Ambassador to Turkey got attacked basely. The only goal of this assassination is to ruin the relationship between Russia and Turkey,” Gokcek said on Twitter, as related by the UK Express. “Turkish and Russian officials will definitely find whoever responsible from this attack. But it is for sure, the ones who were responsible for downing of Russian Jet in the past, are responsible for this attack as well.”
This was a reference to the downing of a Russian warplane along Turkey’s border with Syria last November. Erdogan has accused the Turkish pilots who shot down the Russian plane of being linked to Gulen’s organization.
“Assailant is a policeman. According to what I have heard, he is a FETO member. The slogans of the assailant are just perception management,” Gokcek added. FETO stands for “Fethullah Terrorist Organization,” the Turkish government’s name for Fethullah Gulen’s followers.
The Express notes that Gokcek has a history of floating conspiracy theories, including an accusation that the British BBC news service was complicit in the terrorist bombing of Istanbul earlier this month. However, he’s not the only source for the theory that Altintas was a Gulenist.
Update, 14:45 EST: The mother and sister of gunman Mevlut Mert Altintas have reportedly been detained in the southwestern province of Aydin. Another report from Turkey says Altintas’ home has been searched, and his roommate has also been detained, as well as his father.
Update, 16:15 EST: Reuters quotes a senior security official in Turkey who said there are “very strong signs” the gunman belonged to Gulen’s organization.